A priority matrix is a management tool for determining the development vector where priorities are visually divided into four (or more) quadrants.
There are matrices for personal time management and complex business projects. Most of them have derived from the Eisenhower matrix created to manage personal tasks.
Use an action priority matrix when you have limited resources and you want to distribute them rationally to maximize performance and ROI.
Placing backlog tasks into four quadrants will help you visualize their impact on the main business objectives. Focus the team efforts on one of the four quadrants to have a clear understanding of where you’re heading, what results, and when to expect.
One of the most efficient and easy to use is the 2x2 matrix. It consists of two evaluation criteria: one positive (e.g., Value, Impact, or Revenue) and one negative(e.g., Effort, Costs, or Risk).
Tasks evaluated by the criteria are divided into four quadrants:
Do you have deadlines, and time is critical? Or you must avoid risks at all costs?
Two criteria are enough for a fast and simple prioritization. Yet, they aren’t enough for complex projects where you must consider and juggle multiple stages of user behavior or business objectives. We in Ducalis.io estimate all the vital elements for our product and just filter the matrix by the criteria we need more focus on at some point in time.
What numbers will your team use when estimating the criteria?
Each criterion should be evaluated by the same numbers with prescribed interpretation. We use numbers from 0 to 3 where 0—no impact, 1—low impact, 2—medium impact, 3—high impact.
Who takes part in the project and can bring a unique perspective to the table? Does the project require only engineers or designers and copywriters’ efforts as well?
Considering each task by the whole team strengthens your shared understanding and gives the best prioritization results. In our team, managers evaluate feature Reach and Revenue, engineers and UX/UI—Development Time, and everybody must estimate Activation, Retention, and two product-specific criteria, Speed and Collaboration.
Why have these features made it to the top? Do you all agree they are most valuable now and must be implemented?
Never take the prioritization result into work unquestioningly. Prioritization is a tool to help you make the right decisions and not make them instead of you. Discuss your top priorities with the team at the planning meeting and make sure you all understand what must be done, why this way, and why it’s important.
A priority matrix is simple and efficient. You can make it far more powerful by using automation tools. Ducalis.io allows you to create a complex prioritization framework you can use both as a weighted decision matrix and action priority matrix and switch the criteria focus in no time.
Try our matrix templates. Free to sign up and free to use. No credit cards. Just jump in and prioritize for your growth.
Run a blog? Then you’re familiar with the problem of choosing content to get more targeted traffic.
This article isn’t about how to find ideas to write about. Here we are sharing our way of tracking content ideas and then prioritizing them to choose the juiciest ones.
There are two main points when it comes to content prioritization—evaluation criteria and idea description. But, everything starts with a goal.
The rule of thumb: content marketing goals determine by what criteria you prioritize; criteria determine what must be included in the idea description.
The main goal of a SEO strategy is, obviously, to drive traffic to the website. You will hardly get any value from creating a piece of content nobody googles for. Such a content idea is just a waste of resources.
Estimate the potential traffic value before you create something. Consider keywords’ Volume (or Global Volume).
Volume—How much traffic may the content bring? How many people search for the topic?
0 - <250
1 - 250-500
2 - 500-1K
3 - >1K
Change the score values according to the keywords average volume in your niche or use ours.
The more traffic the better? Not always. You need targeted traffic that will convert. Though you may still be writing about what’s important in your niche, some topics will promote your product or service better than others.
Estimate the potential traffic convertibility and how many customers it can get you.
Relevance—How easily can we convert the traffic? How well can the topic promote us and get customers?
0 - not relevant
1 - low relevance
2 - medium relevance
3 - high relevance
We can’t estimate only values and forget about the negative factors. Though some keywords may promise a whole load of traffic judging by its volume, we may end up with none due to its Difficulty index. The more difficult the keyword is, the harder it will be to rank on the first page of Google, thus to get traffic.
Estimate the ranking difficulty to make sure you acquire the volume.
Difficulty—How difficult it will be to rank? Is our domain rating high enough to rank for the topic?
0 - easy
1 - possible
2 - hard
3 - very hard
To create any piece of content your team needs time: for writing, designing, recording and so on. Time is money. We believe there’s no need for explanation.
Estimate the time needed to create the content.
Time—How long will it take the team to create?
0 - up to one workday
1 - 2-3 days
2 - 4-7 days
3 - 8-15 days
All in all we get four criteria: Volume, Relevance, Difficulty and Time, or VRDT.
As you might have noticed, we estimate all the criteria with numbers 0, 1, 2, 3 - fast and simple. We also assign weights to the criteria. Mostly it’s simply +1 to Volume and Relevance, and -1 to Difficulty and Time, but we change them if one criterion is more important than the other at some point.
The score calculation is as follows:
(Volume Score * 1) + (Relevance Score * 1) + (Difficulty Score * -1) + (Time Score * -1)
Fast and accurate prioritization is impossible without the proper idea description. Here’s what you must include to prioritize with the VRDT.
Clearly state what type of content must be created as it’s directly related to the Time estimation. Also, give a short title or topic.
Obviously, you can’t estimate Volume and Difficulty if you don’t know them. Do a quick keyword research beforehand and add the numbers to the description. You can use any SEO tool you prefer.
If you have a SEO reference article, add the link to it in the description also. It’ll be handy for more thorough research in the future if the content idea makes it to the top.
Describe the idea briefly and clearly. Don’t write an outline—a few sentences are enough. Also add how useful it will be for product promotion. Any teammate should be able to grasp the concept to estimate the Relevance.
Inspirational articles? Customer cases? Pics and screens? Add links to any sources of ideas you might have. This one may not be necessary for the prioritization, though very handy for the creation process.
To sum up: Prioritize your ideas, create quality content, and enjoy targeted traffic. And don’t forget to try our VRDT template or use Ducalis.io for your ideas tracking and prioritization altogether.